(Isaiah 41:10) So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
My mother is a rock and she raised us by the Bible. And my grandmother is in every memory I have from birth until her death when I was 17 years old.
I went to a Baptist Church my whole life. I was baptized when I was eight years old, How I remember it is that the minister wore big green boots. I was so nervous, I got sick and afterward I got $5.00, a cake and a Bible. That’s my baptism story.
I have two sisters and we would dress up every Sunday for church. One memory I have is when I was maybe age 13. We had to be quiet in Sunday school. The quietest child would receive a $5.00 bill. That was the first time I paid attention to the person that was talking!
We liked to think of God as our Daddy. We weren’t talking to this big man in the sky, we were talking to our daddy. I didn’t have to get all gussied up to talk to him. We’ve always prayed that way. And my mother prayed over us our whole lives, and I still see him that way: Abba, Abba, father.
Then my husband told me he didn’t love me anymore; he just wanted me gone. Even though I was hurt, I honestly believed that was God’s way of erasing all the bad decisions I had made.
As a young adult I went through a rebellion. Hanging with the wrong crowd. I was picked on and bullied in school my whole time. In school I was overweight and stuttered and always made fun of. I started smoking, and I smoked for 21 years.
I walked away from church. I stepped away from God and got in a lot of trouble. I rebelled with hard rock music, wouldn’t read my Bible, didn’t want anything to do with church. At the time, my uncle was a minister in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He and my aunt offered to put me through Christian college for free. All I had to do was move up there and get a little part time job pay for my books, room and board. But my mother wasn’t well and I couldn’t leave her. So, I didn’t go and regret that decision to this day.
I started going back to church when I met my first husband. I was working at Thriftway in People’s Plaza. And we lived in the trailer park right across the street. I couldn’t get pregnant, and my gynecologist told me that I was too fat. I had a nephew, and so just put all my attention on him. I lost a bunch of weight and then became pregnant with my oldest daughter, Connie.
My husband developed a marijuana drug problem. I gave him a choice between his family and drugs. He wanted a week to think about it; so I left him. Soon afterward, I began dating my sister’s brother-in-law and became pregnant. My father made us get married. We moved to Tennessee for a year, and then to West Virginia. Then my husband told me he didn’t love me anymore; he just wanted me gone. Even though I was hurt, I honestly believed that was God’s way of erasing all the bad decisions I had made.
I’ve wanted a ministry since I was young. I did a thing for Hurricane Katrina at my old church. We got clothes and food shipped down to them. I thought that was my ministry, but it wasn’t. So I kept praying. I was a bank teller and prayed with people, but God said that’s not it. Then I get cancer, and I said, well, this can’t be it. It can’t get much worse than this. And he said, this is where I need you to be. So I get to pray with cancer patients when we’re having our treatments. God took a mess, the mess in my body, and made it my message.
I came back to Delaware and have lived here for 51 years. My two daughters are the most important thing to me. I would do without so they could have. We’d have pizza parties when I got paid. I would eat one piece of pizza and then eat the crusts.
A few years later my older daughter was raped. She turned away from God and began worshiping Satan. I prayed for her every day that God will open her eyes. In 2000 we were baptized together.
I met my current husband in high school. I had a crush on him, and he had a crush on me, but neither of us knew it. In 2010 we met on an online dating app. I was so nervous, not having dated since 2003. We went to the movies. Then he wanted to get something to eat. I’ve always had stomach problems; so I didn’t want to eat in front of him on the first date. We went to IHOP, and the food was pretty good. We had a great time.
We dated for a couple weeks, and then I met his mother. I fell in love with her, and she’s the reason that I married him. She was my Naomi and I was her Ruth. We were married on her birthday. I knew he was finally the one. He has a great testimony. He was a drug addict and an alcoholic, but his mother never gave up on him. We were very close.
I was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. I lost the right part of my colon, my appendix, most of my intestines, 18 lymph nodes, and the fat that’s between my organs and my skin. In recovery I don’t remember seeing my husband, or my kids, or my mother or sisters. I just remember my mother-in-law crying and stroking my face.
Then we got the call that my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The doctors gave her about two weeks to live. And I was just shocked. We all took turns taking care of her. I would bring all the sweets and my sister made the best spaghetti.
My grandson and she were very close. He had been born prematurely, weighing 2 pounds, 7 ounces. He was age four when his grandma, Gigi, passed away in 2017. He said to me, “Mama I need to pray.” We kneeled at the couch and I said, what do you want to pray for? He said, “I just want to see Jesus holding Gigi’s hand, that’s all I want to say.”
Two weeks ago he got saved. I asked him if he remembered Gigi and wanting to see Jesus holding her hand. I told him about Jesus: when he was born, how people took him on a hill called Calvary and nailed him to the cross. How Jesus went to sleep for three days in his tomb, and rose from the dead, and is alive in heaven. And my grandson said, “I’ll be in heaven, and Gigi is in heaven too.”
My faith was getting a lot stronger, but I was constantly sick, constantly sick. My magnesium and potassium levels were way off. They sent me to a gastroenterologist who did a blood test and told me that I have celiac disease. He said you’ve had this your whole life, and that’s what caused my cancer and killed my intestines. If I would eat anything: a sandwich, pretzels, I’d be in the bathroom. I have been 100% gluten free since December of 2018.
I continue having cancer treatments. On June 3rd I find out if I have to go for radiation treatments, because the shots aren’t working anymore. I have a rare cancer called neuroendocrine, which Steve Jobs and Aretha Franklin died from. Mine is a slow growing, nonaggressive form which I’ll have for the rest of my life.
During all of this God has opened up doors to my heart, and he has pulled me through when I couldn’t raise my head up off the pillow. I’ve wanted a ministry since I was young, and I would pray and pray that God would give me a ministry. I did a thing for Hurricane Katrina at my old church. We got clothes and food shipped down to them.
I thought that was my ministry, but and it wasn’t. So I kept praying. I was a bank teller and prayed with people. Maybe that was my ministry, but God said that’s not it. Then I get cancer, and I said, well, this can’t be it. It can’t get much worse than this. And he said, this is where I need you to be. So I get to pray with cancer patients when we’re having our treatments.
God took a mess, the mess in my body, and made it my message.
Now, in December of 2019, doctors found a peach-sized cyst on my remaining ovary. My surgeon said to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. That was the first time I said, “God, It’s in your hands. It’s this is totally in your hands.” At worst, the cancer could have spread to my kidneys, bladder, intestines, colon. At best, the tumor is only on the ovary. The tumor was just on the ovary! It was amazing to see God’s hand at work.
Recently my sister invited me to attend Real Life Community Church. I have grown. For the first time I’m not afraid to die. I don’t want to, but I’m not afraid if God calls me home, I don’t think I’m going to die. I think I’m going to go home in a rapture.
I have more confidence. I still have a stutter when I get nervous, but God gave me the gift of gab. It takes me an hour to say goodbye to everybody. You know, that’s the southern way of leaving, takes an extra hour to leave.
But God has taken the mess of my life, all my heartache, all my troubles with everything I’m going through now and he’s got it. I’m not worried. I have learned that through this you have to take baby steps. What I would tell someone is you do your best fighting and talking on your knees.
If the doctors say you have six months to live, it’s all in your mind if you are not walking with the Lord and feeling his hand on your shoulder. I pray every day to be blessed and to be anointed with the Holy Spirit. I felt his hands on my head. He’s there, he’s real.
And if you reach out to him, he’ll take your hand. He won’t walk ahead of you. He won’t walk behind you; he’ll walk beside you. I thought I couldn’t do it. I was basically giving up. I didn’t want to continue with my treatments. It was just so much until they figured out it was celiac. I was in so much pain he carried me.
And he carried me and taught me that I can’t do it on my own. But you have to know one thing: you have to forgive yourself for being angry at the cancer. It’s hard, but you have to forgive yourself. You didn’t make this cancer and God didn’t give you this cancer.
Just forgive yourself. That’s the one thing I can tell you that helped me. I was asking God to forgive me for my sins. Forgive me for hating my body and hating the cancer and I went out in my bedroom and screamed, and just screamed, and just prayed. And I prayed the Psalms 91 to make me a warrior.
I’m not a worrier anymore; I’m a warrior!
And a great place to start is in Ephesians, the armor whole armor of God. When you get to the point where you can feel the armor (and I have to have visuals like Wonder Woman when she holds up that shield) – that’s our shield of faith. We have the Word of God as our sword, and we will make it through with our sword with the Word of God.
More Faith Stories
There are people who sometimes have a stomachache and think it's cancer, they think it is a terminal illness. Sometimes people think there is no solution, but it is only a stomach discomfort. It's something bad that you ate that upset your stomach. It is that people that are losing their faith. They get concerned about so many things. They wake up and see the car with a flat tire, and it is a bad day.
There are more important things we need to learn. We need to seek the Lord, because time is short, time goes by quickly. I've got three children: my first daughter is 25 years old. My son is 21 and my other daughter is 16. I mean, time goes by fast.
This means this is an opportunity for you to devote your heart to Jesus Christ, so that He can save you, so that He can be your guide, so that He can be your path, so that He can be everything in your life. Listen to this message, share it with your family. If you do not have a family do not think you are alone. God is with you wherever you are. God will be with you come what may.
Now, what happened with COVID two years ago was unbelievable. God put us to the test. Many people died, and that's something that's coming ahead. There will be more illnesses, there will be more regulations. But if we keep our faith in God, if we continue to trust in God, He will give us the peace we need, the peace the world needs.
Sometimes in the community, there are a lot of people who are watching their backs. For their own protection they hire bodyguards that watch over them night and day because they feel insecure. But we have God to protect us. Day after day, God protects us. God takes care of us. God gives us strength.
I strongly encourage you, I dare you to seek the Lord. This Why I Love Jesus ministry goes across the globe spreading the word of God, telling the world Jesus Christ is real, He is not dead.
There have been many stories in this world which were looking forward to changing history, but we have this story of faith that we believe, come what may, the Lord will be with us.
So if you have relatives, share this experience with them: brothers, sisters, parents. If your family has never been in contact with Jesus, now is the time for you to tell them to embrace Him, to embrace God. Tell them about the story in the Bible that says there is a man in hell, being burned there, and he would like to have a chance of getting out of there. But unfortunately, he has already lost the opportunity. In other words, there is no way he could leave hell.
And you who are there watching this testimony, this word of the Lord, this is the opportunity that you get. Maybe we don't wake up tomorrow; we don't know what will happen tomorrow.
This is the moment for you to say, "Lord, forgive me. I have failed a lot; I've failed in several things, but I want You to be my Savior, I want You to be my shield, I want You to be my strength, I want You to be everything in my life."
Make your decision. Sometimes in day-to-day life, we make decisions, many of them, but this is the most important decision you should make in your life. That is to devote your life to Jesus Christ, commend your life to Jesus Christ, so that He can be everything in your life. May He be your peace, your strength.
At times, people have enough money in the bank and think with that they will change the world, think that will be their protection. But money is only an ordinary piece of paper. In the end, the paper will run out, the money will run out, but treasures we did will remain when we're in heaven.
So let's make this an invitation. Let's hope this message will reach someone in need of it. So you who are out there, this message is meant for you.
My stepfather was an alcoholic, and we had a difficult life. But God changed us. When I began going to this church in 2000, God changed me. God changes you, and God wants to do great things with your life.
So, I mean, maybe you are also having a hard time with an alcoholic father, an alcoholic mother. Let me tell you, I had bad thoughts in my head about finishing him, killing him, destroying him, so that it all would end. But when I got to the feet of Jesus, when I started going to church, God made changes in me. God makes changes in you. God changes your mind.
When God entered into my life, and I looked at my stepfather again, I saw him in a different way. I held a grudge inside my heart, but nevertheless, God was working on me. God worked on me and gave me peace. I was smart enough not to commit a crime. God showed me the way I should live.
In addition to being at peace with God, He gives you intelligence. God gives you wisdom to be on the side of right every day in our lives.
So, this is an invitation, whether you're a woman, or man, or youth. Young people sometimes make decisions which scar their lives forever. To put it another way, if you are young, make your decision to accept Jesus: don't wait until tomorrow and say, "No, I'd better wait before accepting Jesus Christ, before accepting God in my heart. I've still got a long way to go. I want to live my life, and I want to do things. When I'm older, I'll see whether I change." But we don't know what happens tomorrow, so you should make up your mind today.
I've had some friends who made their decisions too late. I had a friend who said he was going to drink his life away. He was going to drink, that's what he was going to do. He was going to do drugs, to live a totally careless life. He thought he was being cleverer than God. But he wasn't, nobody is smarter than God. At the end of his life he was going to seek God's forgiveness.
Had God been given the opportunity, He would have forgiven him, He would have indeed. But my friend didn't take the trouble to get to that point. He was doing his drugs, drinking and whatnot. Then he grabbed a gun and shot himself in the head.
I mean, we don't know what was the last moment in his life, whether he asked forgiveness or not. We only had the word he killed himself by putting a bullet in his head. Odds are he didn't have the opportunity of begging God's forgiveness, and he lost his life. Or better expressed, do not let the enemy fool you. The enemy hampers your life.
That means to move on and accept Jesus Christ. He is going to give the answers. He is going to give you the peace you need. That's my testimony, and I know this is on behalf of God, so people would turn to Him.
People get lost, people haven't wanted to recognize their faults. God has a plan for your life. That means if He gave you this plan, accept it, accept it. We have free will, people make their own decisions. God has already chosen some individuals. God has predestined people. Whether you are predestined or exercising your free will, make your decision and follow Jesus Christ.
Your life will change, He is going to transform it, and He is going to help you in every way, be it economic, social, psychological, whatever you need, God is going to help you.
Thank you for your time, thank you for this opportunity that God gave me to share my faith. I come from Houston, Texas, but I've been working here in Delaware, and this is an opportunity God has granted me to share good news and continue to spread good news. We're the ambassadors of the word of God. So thank you for this opportunity, and let's move forward with this testimony which is for the benefit of society.
In May of 1982 Carolyn and I went on a Lutheran Marriage Encounter Weekend. Here was where God opened my eyes and heart to his role in my marriage and life. That weekend changed my relationship with Christ.
God has given me my dream of serving as a choir director. I see lives change as we are singing. Singing correctly is sometimes less important than letting the Spirit come to us as we practice.
I remember an incident when the Lord rescued me from a person who intended to do me harm. God’s protection was a miracle in my life!
I wasn’t raised in a church; so I knew nothing about Jesus or God. I did go to Vacation Bible School in the summers and heard and loved the song, “This Little Light of Mine.”
I went into the ocean and was immediately swept off my feet by a riptide. There was nothing in the water for me to float on, and I was running out of energy. I asked God if this was how I was going to die.
My faith grew to have a focus on trusting in God’s word as assurance. To believe his promises are true. We experienced the faithfulness of the God who called us in many, many ways. In addition to joyous times, we faced grief and pain.